West Nile Virus Detected In Simcoe County

Risky time of year for the virus

Cover up. Summer may be ending but the threat of West Nile Virusirus mosquito bites is just ramping up say Simcoe Muskoska District Health Unit officials. Two possible human cases have identified in the county. Further testing is underway to confirm the cases. In addition, mosquitos from a trap in the Bradford area have tested positive for the virus. “People may feel, with the end of summer approaching, that the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes is reduced,” said Dr. Charles Gardner, Medical Officer of Health for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. “However, late summer and early fall is the time when the risk of acquiring West Nile virus from a bite actually increases. As long as mosquitoes continue to be active, we need to take precautions to protect ourselves from the virus.” Health officials recommend continued use of insect repellent, keeping arms and legs covered – especially during the evening hours, getting rid of standing water around the house and repairing holes in window and door screens. The majority of people infected with West Nile virus do not show any symptoms and most of those who do will experience mild illness which may include: fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting or rashes on the chest, stomach or back. Less than one per cent of those infected with West Nile virus will experience serious symptoms, which may include: high fever, severe headache, muscle weakness, stiff neck or confusion. However, in rare instances, the virus can cause meningitis, encephalitis or death. Those at greatest risk of severe illness are people over the age of 50 and individuals with weakened immune systems or chronic diseases.